Dooku is without a doubt the most underrated Sith Lord.
Christopher Lee brought tremendous gravitas to the Star Wars universe in 2002. His speech to an imprisoned Obi-Wan gave us a hauntingly serious villain who walked the line between earnestness and manipulation. Not to mention that he unleashes Sith lightning, handicaps Anakin, and wields a remarkably unique fighting style with his curved-handled crimson lightsaber. Dooku has always been surrounded in a shroud of mystery.
If you’re in search of stories to unravel some of the web of Dooku’s mysterious past, there’s good news! The Expanded Universe is a fantastic place to dive deeper into the identity of the most underrated Sith Lord. In fact, there’s never been a better time to become a fan of Darth Tyranus, as several new stories have been published within the last year.
Few know much about Count Dooku or his past that led him from the highest ranks of the Jedi Order to the knee of Darth Sidious. But when he charges his new assassin, Asajj Ventress, with her first mission, he also opens a window into his past. That past, riddled with dark prophecies and broken relationships is the key to Ventress understanding her new master…and his weaknesses.
Cavan Scott, bolstered by a whole host of voice actors, delivers one of the most engaging, immersive stories in all of the Expanded Universe with Dooku: Jedi Lost. This origin story enriches Dooku’s character so much that it even manages to elevate his on-screen appearances in the films.
A counterpoint to the Anakin Skywalker story released a week prior, Age of Republic – Count Dooku is at once a one-shot that is an entertaining and immersive glimpse of a character rarely given his due, and a part of a larger conversation in the back-and-forth heroes and villains format of the Age of Republic series from Marvel. In this issue, Count Dooku is on a mission to Sullust, at once accomplishing a task for his Master, Darth Sidious, and also pursuing his own hidden agenda. We glimpse into his backstory as he fought to hide his dark nature from the Jedi. Plus, the art by Luke Ross masterfully conveys the gravitas of Lee that we see onscreen!
Clone Wars: Stories of Light and Dark is a fresh take on the animated series that has become a often-binged staple of Star Wars fans young and old. A talented stable of authors has adapted iconic episodes and story-arcs for inclusion in this anthology. Some are from a different character’s perspective from what we see in the tv show: the Senate hostage crisis is told from Anakin’s point of view rather than Padmé’s, for example. Other stories are told in a first-person-POV so as to lend a heavily-stylized slant to the familiar story. This is at the same time interesting, entertaining, and surprising—especially when we get inside the mind of a character such as Count Dooku! Plus, it includes one original story written exclusively for inclusion in this collection. Great for Clone Wars fans or for young readers looking to get started with Star Wars books.
Christopher Lee’s history in horror is showcased in this perfectly spooky tale. Cavan Scott wanted to do a classic vampire story mashup with a Star Wars comic, and he succeeds wonderfully with this Goosebumps-esque entry in Tales from Vader’s Castle. If you’re looking for a story to sink your teeth into in order to learn how Dooku ticks, you’ll need to look elsewhere. But if you want a unique and quick adventure of little consequence, this is a go-to. It’s nice to see Lee’s legacy honored in the right format within current Star Wars storytelling.
Asajj Ventress did not deserve the pain she endured as a child, but she endured it all the same. While most know her as the relentless, hardened Sith apprentice who will stop at nothing to please her master, there’s a much less sinister side to her -- one that may even be capable of falling in love.
There were many stories originally meant to complete The Clone Wars that never got their chance to be told. But Ventress’s journey deserved a proper ending, and it got exactly that. In this story of love, loss, and triumph, watch as the villain you thought you knew transforms into a celebrated hero of the Republic.
Yoda, Grand Master of the Jedi Order, carries the weight of the Clone Wars on his shoulders. When his former Padawan and leader of the Separatist movement, Count Dooku, reaches out and asks to meet for a truce, that burden becomes heavier still. Knowing that Dooku is likely laying a trap, Yoda places the needs of the galaxy before his own and ventures forth to the mysterious world of Vjun to face his old apprentice for perhaps the final time.
Author Sean Stewart clearly loves Christopher Lee’s background in monster movies and writes Dooku as a sympathetic villain reminiscent of the golden age of Hammer Films. He both heightens Dooku as a villain and humanizes him as a sympathetic character through his exploration of the novel's central question: is Count Dooku redeemable?
Part of the expansive young reader material by Jude Watson in the early days of the Prequel EU, Legacy of the Jedi is a hybrid story with three parts, featuring Dooku across four eras: a young Padawan, a Jedi Master to Qui-Gon Jinn, a disconnected and disheartened Jedi exile, and a Sith Lord entangled with his past and with Obi-Wan and Anakin. We see him first being exposed to the Dark Side, pursuing revenge on a former friend, and finally the merciless and powerful monster facing memories of the past he would rather leave behind. This Legends novel is one of the most unique Star Wars books you’ll find and one that stands out as a great look at Dooku across the timeline.